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tr.v. kid·napped, kid·nap·ping, kid·naps or kid·naped or kid·nap·ing
To abduct or confine (a person) forcibly, by threat of force, or by deceit, without the authority of law.

[kid, child + nap, to snatch (perhaps variant of nab or of Scandinavian origin ).]

kid′nap·pee′, kid′nap·ee′ (kĭd′nă-pē′) n.
kid′nap′ n.
kid′nap′per, kid′nap′er n.
Word History: Kidnapper seems to have originated among those who perpetrate this crime. We know this because kid and napper, the two parts of the compound, were slang of the sort that criminals used. Kid, which still has an informal air, was considered low slang when kidnapper was formed, and napper is obsolete slang for a thief, coming from the verb nap, "to steal." Nap is possibly a variant of nab, which also still has a slangy ring. In the second half of the 1600s, when the word kidnapper begins to appear in English, kidnappers plied their trade to secure laborers for plantations in colonies such as the ones in North America. The term later took on the broader sense that it has today. The verb kidnap begins to be attested a bit later than kidnapper and is possibly a back-formation from kidnapper—that is, the suffix -er was removed from kidnapper to create a new verb kidnap.




formal a person who is kidnapped
References in periodicals archive ?
The CTD police team in an encounter in Pabbi had safely recovered a kidnappee Sartaj s/o Taj Muhammad.
Une jeune fille, agee de 24 ans, habitant la wilaya de Blida, a ete kidnappee, avant-hier au soir au niveau de la plage Oued Oumzer d'El Hamdania, par trois delinquants, alors qu'elle etait en compagnie de ses amis.
Baz Muhammad said the kidnappee had been shot and stabbed with a knife.
He likes to laugh, does the Polomoche, as do we all, but where he deviates from the norm is that if the kidnappee fails to make him laugh, he turns him or her to stone.